Hi everyone! Look! I actually stuck to my word and am writing another post in a timely fashion *pumps fists* *pats self on back* Okay, okay, I'll stop celebrating for no apparent reason.
Anyway, I've had this post idea/topic in my mind for quite some time because I constantly see articles, BuzzFeed posts, and other web content about the negative effects anxiety has on people. I wanted to flip the script and see if I could analyze my issues with anxiety in a positive light, and thankfully, I was able to come up with some reasons.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), upwards of 18% of individuals living in the United States have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That percentage is undoubtedly higher, as it only takes into account individuals formally diagnosed. Anyway, point being, anxiety is a prevalent ailment/illness in this world we live in. So even if you don't suffer from anxiety yourself, chances are you know someone who does.
Personally, I've been anxious ever since I can remember, but I'm not going to go into the details of that in this post, as I'm going to try to focus on the positive things that have come out of living with general anxiety for a change. So, here goes...
1) I am one motivated human being, and I get things done in a timely fashion
2) I am able to be more empathetic toward others who also deal with anxiety (and people in general)
3) My self-control has gotten pretty impeccable over the years (unless I'm at Target... haha...)
4) I spend a lot of time over thinking, so I've gotten pretty good at problem solving
5) Anxiety can be channeled into productive energy
I would like to end this post by saying that I'm not trying to sugar coat what it's like to live with anxiety. I'm also not trying to say that I look at this illness this way 100% of the time. I'm not even sure if I could definitively say that I view it as a good thing 50% of the time, but re-framing the way I feel about anxiety and its effects has changed my relationship with this disease.
I don't feel like a victim in my own body as much anymore, I don't feel weak all the time, and I am able to love myself more. I also don't care about disclosing that I have anxiety anymore because it is a part of who I am, and feeling ashamed gets me nowhere. Yet, I understand if you do feel this way, because it takes a lot of self love and work to get to the point where having a mental illness is acceptable, especially with how much these illnesses are stigmatized. I felt ashamed and disgusted toward myself up until this past year for having anxiety, and I'm happy to report that I've moved beyond that mindset on most days.
So, to end this post, I kindly ask my readers to be kind to those around you and try to be open minded and supportive toward those of us with mental illnesses (or just human beings in general... except for people who don't like bacon. What's up with that? Just kidding, of course :-)). Mental illnesses can affect anyone and they do not discriminate. A relative, significant other, boss, teacher, or someone else may be struggling right now and you might not even know it.
Any of my readers have thoughts about this? I'd love to hear your input!
Until next time,